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The Bitwise XOR operator (^) is a binary operator which takes two bit patterns of equal length and performs the logical exclusive OR operation on each pair of corresponding bits. It returns 1 if only one of the bits is 1, else returns 0.

Bit_1Bit_2Bit_1 ^ Bit_2
000
101
011
110

The below example describes how bitwise XOR operator works:

50 ^ 25 returns 16

     50    ->    110010  (In Binary)
   ^ 25    ->  ^ 011001  (In Binary)
    ----        --------
     43    <-    101011  (In Binary)  

The code of using Bitwise XOR operator (^) is given below:

<?php
$x = 50;
$y = 25;
$z;

//Bitwise XOR operation
$z = $x ^ $y;

//Displaying the result
echo "z = $z";
?>

The output of the above code will be:

z = 43

Example: Swap two numbers without using temporary variable

The bitwise XOR operator can be used to swap the value of two variables. Consider the below example.

<?php
function swap($x, $y) {
  echo "Before Swap.\n";
  echo "x = $x \n";
  echo "y = $y \n";

  //Swap technique
  $x = $x ^ $y;
  $y = $x ^ $y;
  $x = $x ^ $y;

  echo "After Swap.\n";
  echo "x = $x \n";
  echo "y = $y \n";
}

swap(10, 25);
?>

The above code will give the following output:

Before Swap.
x = 10
y = 25
After Swap.
x = 25
y = 10

❮ PHP - Operators

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